Cardiff City start to shape up for the top flight

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Malky Mackay had been relatively unsuccessful in signing the players he wanted to this summer – most notably Tom Ince who turned down a move to CCS after passing his medical and the club agreeing terms.

Ince who was accompanied by his father and team manager Paul, refused at the final hurdle opting to stay put at Blackpool to be near his new born son.

However a flurry of activity by The Bluebirds on the transfer market was to rectify that.

6ft 4 Denmark international striker Andreas Cornelius was joined by 23 year old goalkeeper Simon Moore from Brentford for an undisclosed sum and the loan to Brentford of Cardiff City’s Ben Nugent.

Moore had been watched and coveted by Mackay for a season and the canny Scot struck before Moore attracted the attention of one of the Premier League’s big eight teams. Also signing on the dotted line for The Bluebirds was Derby County’s full-back John Brayford, another long time target of Mackay. Derby had previously rejected a bid of one million from Wigan Athletic, the Bluebirds signed the 25 year old on a four year contract despite interest from West Ham United for a sum believed to be around 1.5 million.

Bigger and better was to come, when for the second time this summer The Bluebirds smashed their transfer record by spending £9m on Tottenham and England international defender 21 year old Steven Caulker.

The talented and highly rated youngster, Caulker, who’s been compared to Ledley King, spent a season on loan with Cardiff City’s local rivals Swansea City, playing 26 times two seasons ago. Last summer he signed a new four year deal with Spurs, and gained his full England international cap against Sweden scoring in that game.

Caulker is no stranger to Cardiff City. In his 50th professional game, on 16 October, Caulker scored his first goal while on a loan spell for Bristol City in their 3–2 defeat against Cardiff City.

Caulker was also part of the Great Britain squad in the 2012 London Olympics, playing in five games alongside Cardiff City hometown boy, legend and local hero Craig Bellamy who highly recommended the young defender to Malky Mackay and The Bluebird back room staff and was instrumental in bringing the player to Cardiff City.